At a Glance: What is Banksia?
Banksia is an Australian inspired café located in the heart of Kansas City. After moving from Australia, retired professional Robert Joseph used his experiences from travel and everything he loves from his hometown of Sydney to inspire the food he serves in his cafés today. What started out as a hobby quickly turned into his passion project.
The word banksia stands for an Australian evergreen shrub that grows tiny flowers. It symbolizes rebirth and discovery, which ties perfectly into the physical environment of the café, featuring gorgeous trailing plants all along the walls. Using WallyGrow Eco Wall Planters and an impressive copper irrigation system, Robert and his team were able to create an inviting and elevated space for their guests to enjoy.
A Green Wall Two Ways
What’s more impressive than one plant wall? Two plant walls! That’s right. Robert chose to incorporate two green walls in the space, both unique in their own ways. Upon walking in, the first wall to the left is hard to miss. It’s lush and flush, nearly completely hiding the Espresso Ecos the plants are home to. The second plant wall on the right spans the entire length of the café, featuring a unique irrigation line that is camouflaged by beautiful copper pipes.
Although the only windows are at the front of the restaurant, Caleb, the café’s manager explained that with the direction the building is facing, the sun has the chance to hit all the plants throughout the day.
“The morning sun will actually stretch all the way to the plants near the back of the room. There are led track lights that line the ceiling as well that stay on the same setting at all times, making sure the plants are getting enough light towards the back.” – Caleb
Caleb has been working at Banksia for a year and a half and has only positive things to say about the green walls.
“I enjoy having the plants around. They help brighten the place up and the customers comment on them frequently, too.” - Caleb
“I really admire them. They always look so good every time I come in.” - Lauren, a frequent customer
Caleb mentioned that the customers especially love the flush wall towards the front. It truly is impressive and makes for the perfect backdrop for a photo-op!
“People love how full and flush it is. It’s definitely a statement piece.” - Caleb
Building Customer Loyalty
A fun and unique thing the Banksia teams does is trim pieces of the plants for customers to take home and propagate. It’s a great way to create meaningful customer relationships and share the plant world with others!
“They’ve grown so much since they’ve been here that we oftentimes trim off pieces to give to customers in to-go cups.” – Caleb
A Plant Wall Makes the Difference
Robert and the Banksia team did a wonderful job with these plant walls. Banksia opened amidst the pandemic and became a great place people could come and “work from home” while enjoying some coffee and Australian pastries. Over the years, it has turned into a booming business in Kansas City, loved by many. The green walls have grown over the last three years and continue to beautify the restaurant, boost employee morale and create a bright and inviting environment for all guests the second they step through the door. Banksia is proof that every restaurant should have a plant wall!